Beitashour, Wondolowski named to MLS All-Star First XI
SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski and defender Steven Beitashour were among 11 players named to the MLS All-Star team on Sunday. The duo will now be available for selection to suit up on Wednesday, July 25 when MLS hosts defending European Champion Chelsea at PPL Park (5:30 p.m. PT / ESPN2, TeleFutura).
The All-Star nod is Wondolowski’s second after he suited up against Manchester United in last year’s event. Wondolowski leads the league in goals with 14 through 19 games. The Danville native also paces MLS in game-winning goals with seven. His torrent scoring pace helped him become the fastest player to reach 10 goals in league history, achieving that mark in San Jose’s ninth game of the season.
For his efforts, Wondolowski won MLS Player of the Month awards in April and June, becoming one of four players in league history to earn the recognition twice in the same season. He also received a call-up to U.S. Men’s National Team duty from May 26 to June 12, earning his eighth cap in the process.
Beitashour’s All-Star selection is the first in his three-year MLS career. The 25-year-old right back is tied for fourth in MLS with six assists, the most by any other defender. His service has generated two game winners for San Jose in 2012. He has also been a key component of a San Jose defense that has kept four clean sheets this season and helped the club to a league-best 11-4-4 record. Beitashour is one of two players on the squad who has appeared in each of the Earthquakes’ 19 games to date.
The First XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on three platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. The ballot consisted of six players from each club, as chosen by a panel of media members. Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was the winner of the AT&T Text Voting, receiving 27% of all text votes submitted between June 8 and July 2.
The First XI are not necessarily included on the game day roster. MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations, but all First XI players are All-Stars.
Two selections by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Olsen’s complete 18-man game day roster, will be announced on Sunday, July 15 during ESPN’s broadcast of the New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC game that begins at 4 p.m. ET.
Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the game day roster, the remaining players receiving the All-Star honor will come from voting among MLS players and will be announced July 25.
2012 MLS All-Star First XI – As voted by fans
Goalkeeper: Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Heath Pearce (New York Red Bulls)
Midfielders: David Beckham (LA Galaxy), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)